Honeymoon registries are very popular right now, and with good reason. More and more couples find they already have most of their household essentials accounted for, and want to give their guests a way to give a personal gift without registering for a bunch of stuff they don’t really need.
With a honeymoon registry, you are able to register for honeymoon experiences – a romantic dinner, an adventurous excursion, a hotel upgrade – and let their guests help them make even more memories on their honeymoon. I also have a post that goes into more of the under-the-hood details of how honeymoon registries work here.
Some still scoff at the idea of a honeymoon registry, seeing it as tacky – but speaking for myself, I love being able to get my friends something they will actually use for their wedding – and I love helping them have amazing experiences on their honeymoon.
As my wedding approaches, I wanted to create a honeymoon registry for my fiancée and myself, and quickly realized there are a lot of registry sites out there, with all kinds of different options.
It is very easy to become overwhelmed with all of the choices – so I decided I would compare the top honeymoon registry sites and share what I found with all of you.
Hopefully this will help make your decision that much easier – with all of the decisions that need to be made when planning a wedding, where to host your honeymoon registry shouldn’t be a stressful one!
After doing a lot of research into the various honeymoon registry options out there, I could only find 5 sites that I thought were worth including in a comparison of sites that will host your registry.
There were a few that were so old and outdated looking I didn’t even want to bother with them.
A lot of registry sites I found were really the same site with different names, so I grouped them all under the parent site.
The sites I tested (in no particular order):
Update: since I first posted this, I’ve looked at a few more honeymoon registry sites I’ve been made aware of: The Honeymoon and buy our honeymoon. See the ‘Others’ section at the end for my impression of those.
For each site tested, I signed up for an account, entered my information, and created a basic registry.
I looked specifically at the following areas for each site:
- Ease of use
- Payment options (both for your guests and how you get your gifts)
- Any extras
I will give a quick breakdown of each site, what its pros and cons are, then finish up with what I think is the best registry. After doing this, I am actually going to change where we have our registry – so read on to find out my winner!
Honeymoon Wishes was definitely the largest company I checked out. They are also the only site of those I checked out that are associated with travel companies directly.
This means that when you register for items through Honeymoon Wishes, in many cases they can be purchased directly from the resort, hotel, or cruise company. Since they are closely associated with the travel industry, they are the ones running all of the major travel-provider registries I could find, including the registries for Sandals, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Starwood to name a few.
Honeymoon Wishes also had the highest fees of the sites I tested, coming in at a whopping 9.65%!
Unlike all of the other options, they also required that guests pay a 2.65% processing fee for each gift. The additional 7% service fee you could choose to pass on to guests or have deducted from your gift amount. In my testing, I also could not find a way to change this decision after I initially made it during account creation.
Honeymoon Wishes was also the most difficult of the sites I tested to use – they break up the registry creation into so many different sections it is hard to tell where you are supposed to go to enter certain information.
The design of the site wasn’t anything special, though it wasn’t terrible either. One thing I didn’t like was that if you wanted to add your own item for the registry, you couldn’t add your own picture for it (you can only use their provided images), or a link for more information.
They also seem to provide a complete wedding website for you when you register, although I don’t think many would use it – unless they’re just doing everything through a resort or something. The website they offer just doesn’t look terribly interesting – it’s okay, but there are a lot of options out there that look much better.
Another unique thing regarding Honeymoon Wishes is your guests have to pay for your gifts with a credit card. If there is an option for guests to ‘buy’ items from your registry and then send you a check – I couldn’t find it. So there doesn’t appear to be a way for your guests to avoid paying at least some fees, which I am not a huge fan of. I’d rather be able to decide whether or not to pass any processing fees on to my guests or just eat those fees myself.
One of the cool parts about Honeymoon Wishes was that after you enter in where you were going on your honeymoon (limited to 2-3 places depending on where you go within the site to enter that info!), the site pre-populates some recommendations for registry items. One of the hardest parts for me so far in creating our actual honeymoon registry has been picking different things to put on the registry. Having a ton of auto-generated ideas would be helpful in quickly filling out a large registry.
Another situation where I could see Honeymoon Wishes being much more useful is if you are already working with a travel agent for your trip, and would prefer to have more of the work handled on their end.
I suspect that a travel agent could easily handle almost all of the honeymoon registry process for their customers – setting it up, coordinating with resorts or other travel vendors they would be using, and managing that side of things. I suspect that many travel agents prefer for their clients to use Honeymoon Wishes for that reason.
Honeyfund was definitely the most popular recommendation I saw when I looked at recommendation threads on wedding planning forums, and for good reason.
The unique thing about Honeyfund is they don’t have any sort of processing fee for doing credit card transactions for gifts, because they hand all of that process over to PayPal. They make money through either ad displays on your registry, or through ‘setup’ or ‘customization’ fees that the couple pays.
The result of this is incredibly low fees – PayPal charges just 2.8% + $0.30 per transaction. Their account options range from free (where your registry has ads on the page and your registry items don’t have pictures associated with them), all they way up to an $80 version where you can do all sorts of optimizations. All of the paid plans remove the ads and put back the item pictures.
Honeyfund is also really easy to use – the registry editing is done right within the preview page, so you have a good idea of what your changes look like.
The design of the registries on Honeyfund are also pretty good, and I like the customization options that are available on the paid plans. The thought of paying a setup fee when so many other registries don’t have one seems like a bad deal, but when you consider the amount of money the other services take away in fees more than makes up for it in my book.
Another nice thing about Honeyfund is that when your guests decide on a gift to give you – that’s all they’re charged for. So when they add a $100 gift, they pay $100. I like making things simple and transparent to the guests, rather than have them trying to figure out why they’re being charged extra. I prefer taking responsibility for the processing fees so that my guests have an easier and more transparent gift giving process – they’re the ones being generous, after all!
Since the payments are handled by PayPal, it is definitely secure, and through PayPal you can get your funds deposited directly into your bank account.
One thing that kind of messed me up when I tried linking up the PayPal portion to allow credit card payments – you have to use a business PayPal account (they show you how to get one setup right on the site and the process is
really straightforward supposed to be easy).
I tried upgrading my existing PayPal account to a Business account, but since it was already a Premier account (probably because I have sold things on eBay before), I kept getting errors until I found out you can’t upgrade from Premier to Business. Go figure. So I had to create a new account with a different email and everything worked fine. Also, don’t worry about the ‘Business’ name, you can still sign up for the account as an individual – you’ll just be considered a ‘sole proprietor’, which basically means you do business as yourself and there is no distinction between you and your business. Update: so even several weeks later, I still haven’t figured out how I’m supposed to finish ‘activating’ my account with PayPal so I would be allowed to accept CC payments. Since that is pretty important to me, I’m thinking I’m not going to bother anymore with Honeyfund.
With Honeyfund, your guests may also choose to ‘buy’ a gift off your registry and give you a check in person, avoiding fees altogether.
Wandeable is certainly has the most beautiful registries that I found. Their large full-page pictures and modern aesthetic will certainly appeal to many couples.
Wanderable also has the concept of ‘curated’ registries, where pre-selected items are available to quickly and easily add to your registry depending on where you are traveling to. This feature makes filling your registry quickly a breeze.
Wanderable’s fee structure is unique in that they only charge a ‘registry fee’ on items that you add yourself (that is, items that aren’t ‘curated by Wanderable’). This 2.5% fee is in addition to the 2.5% processing fee for credit card payments, which you can choose to either have your guests pay, or have deducted from your gift.
Your guests have the option of paying you via cash or check, and any item paid for this way will have no fees.
So, depending on the registry item and how your guests pay, you will have anywhere from 0-5% fees, which is still on the lower end of the sites I looked at.
Any gifts paid via credit card can be sent to you though bank transfer or mailed check from your account.
The design and ease of use for Wanderable are top-notch, and I can see this being a favorite for couples that have a discerning eye for design and aesthetic appeal.
Another unique aspect of Wanderable is that they have an iPhone app that allows you to send electronic picture ‘thank-you’s to your guests – presumably with a picture of you taking advantage of their gift!
Thanking your guests this way seems like an excellent idea, and I will probably steal the idea for when we take our honeymoon.
Traveler’s Joy charges a flat 7.5% fee for credit card payments, which you can either have the gift-giver pay or have deducted from the gift itself. Guests can also pay via check directly, in which case there are no fees.
You have to manually add all of the items to the registry, and can provide your own picture and link for more information. The site is prety easy to use.
There are a few color schemes you can choose from, and overall the design is pretty nice.
As with most of the other sites, you can receive your funds via ACH bank transfer, or via check mailed to you.
One of the things I like about Traveler’s Joy is that you can enter in your honeymoon destination(s) and they display a cool map showing your travels. I think it adds a nice touch and is a cool way for your guests to get an idea of where you are going.
With Traveler’s Joy you can also create your own categories of gifts, to group similar items together however you want.
Honeymoon Pixie is very similar to Traveler’s Joy in the way it works, except Honeymoon Pixie only charges a 7% processing fee for gifts purchased through the site with a credit card.
Honeymoon Pixie has a selection of pre-made designs you can use, and all in all they look pretty nice.
Your guests can pay via check or credit card, and you receive funds via bank deposit or check.
Honeymoon Pixie also displays a map of your travels, and also allows you to upload your own pictures to be displayed on the site.
I’ve learned of some more honeymoon/online registry sites since I first posted this, so I’ll give quick summaries of my thoughts. I didn’t go as in-depth for these (I didn’t sign up and create my own registry), but I think I got a good sense of how they work.
The Honeymoon is another travel agent focused registry site that also partners with a lot of travel providers similar to Honeymoon Wishes.
Fees: No setup fee, payment fees vary depending on the gift amount: <$500: 7.5%; $500-$1000: 6.5%; >$1000: 5.5%
Payment Methods: Credit card only – no option for your guests to pay you via cash or check.
Design: fairly outdated, with small pictures and a spreadsheet-like look. Sample registry here.
How you get the gifts: If you have a gift with a specific travel provider, your gift will be handled through them. Any money is sent to you via 2 checks: the first 5 days before your honeymoon starts (with anything your registry account contains at that time), and the second is sent 30 days later with anything that was added since the first check went out.
Buy Our Honeymoon
Buy our honeymoon is another registry site similar to Honeyfund that does any credit card processing through a third party (PayPal or Stripe). They are based in the UK, and have some pretty unique features for handling multiple currencies and languages – some features that might be very valuable for you if you have lots of family overseas or spread around the world.
Unlike Honeyfund they don’t have a free, ad-supported registry option, or a bunch of different tiers – just the one simple option that includes the setup fee. But if your guests would appreciate the internationalization options, it might be perfect for you and worth the fee. They also provide alternative main domains for your honeymoon (so instead of buy-our-honeymoon.com/yourRegistry you could have honeymoonpromises.com/yourRegistry, among others).
Fees: $64 one-time setup fee, plus any payment fees for guests that pay via credit card through PayPal or Stripe. Current PayPal and Stripe processing fees are 2.9% + $0.30. Their PayPal integration also doesn’t require a business account (a source of problems for me), which is also nice – though you end up paying a teeny tiny bit more (0.1% – or 10 cents per $100) in fees.
They’ve contacted me and are offering a 20% off coupon for you all – just use the code ‘HACKYOURHONEYMOON’ to get 20% off the initial setup fee (obviously PayPal or Stripe fees they don’t have control over). They also have a one week free trial if you just want to try it out. I’m not getting any compensation from them – just wanted to pass along this offer for anyone that might want it!
Payment Methods: Guests can pay by cash or check (then no payment fees), or you can setup credit card payments through Stripe or PayPal (which then have card processing fees). If you are in the UK (and other areas of Europe?) you can also setup a bank transfer (direct deposit) option to let your guests pay you electronically without a credit card or fees.
Design: Good, and their designs are mobile friendly as well. See sample registries here.
How you get the gifts: Credit card payments go directly to your PayPal or Stripe account, and you have access to those as soon as you would with any money sent to you with those services.
Other: They offer translations of your registry in French,Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German and Swedish, along with English – convenient if a good number of guests will be international. They can also list your registry items in many different currencies, and provide currency conversion calculation. There’s more info here on the currency and language internationalization options.
There are a lot of options out there if you’re looking to create a honeymoon registry, and some are definitely better than others.
If you’re want the lowest fees, Honeyfund is the definite winner for you. With their free registry, you’ll only pay the PayPal fees – so even if you’re just thinking of putting a PayPal button on your wedding website – use Honeyfund instead! Your registry will look a lot classier and won’t cost you anything extra. Buy Our Honeymoon is a more international-focused version of Honeyfund with unique features that might benefit couples in the UK and Europe over Honeyfund, though they don’t have a bare-bones free option.
Wanderable comes in a close second for fees, since I expect many couples will want to add their own items to their registries, and that makes Wanderable slightly more expensive. Of course, if you decide to go with an upgraded Honeyfund account, the difference in cost becomes more dependent on how much you expect to receive in gifts. For example, the point at which the Honeyfund $20 account becomes cheaper than Wanderable is if you get more than $800 in funds through credit card. The break-even point for the $40 account (Honeyfund’s ‘most popular’) is $1,600 in gifts.
If you really really care about design and aesthetic, Wanderable is the clear winner. The main thing they focus on right on their home page is the design of their registries, and with good reason. The ability to have large images and the attention to detail is outstanding.
If your travel agent is handling all of this for you, Honeymoon Wishes is probably what they will set you up with. The ability to have your gift funds go directly to some travel vendors is nice, but the hefty fees that are added on make this a less than desirable choice for me.
If you enjoyed this, you’ll love all of the honeymoon travel strategies and tips I send out to my email list subscribers! I’ll help you make the most of your honeymoon, and truly make it a getaway to remember!
After the hassle I’ve had with Honeyfund and the PayPal integration, I’m thinking we’re going to go with Wanderable for our registry, since they have low fees, and look awesome.
Now I have to go create our registry…